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  1. Hail, elves. It's been a while since we've had a mechanics update, so I'd like to cover a variety of topics today: the basics of our "non-core" classes, our cooldown system (or lack thereof), an update on how attacks are resolved, and another update on the evolution of our armor system. I'd also like to show you a dungeon tileset test render and some sweet shakycam of some of the combat basics running in engine. Non-Core Classes We've previously discussed the design of our "core four" classes: fighter, priest, rogue, and wizard. The non-core classes are the other seven: barbarian, paladin, ranger, druid, monk, chanter, and cipher. Like the core four classes, the non-core classes all start the game with two active or modal abilities and one passive ability. When it comes to the balance of active/modal and passive options, the classes generally reflect their D&D counterparts, with spellcasters having more active use abilities and weapon-based classes being oriented toward more passive or modal abilities. Even so, it will be possible to push a spellcaster toward more passive talents and to optionally buy more active/modal abilities for traditionally low-maintenance characters. While all classes will have many more abilities as they advance, here are some basic elements for each of the seven classes. Barbarians can use Wild Sprint a limited number of times per day, allowing them to rapidly rush across the battlefield to a distant target while ignoring hazards along the way. Paladins have limited healing capabilities, but their Revive command allows them to instantly snap an unconscious ally awake with a large Stamina boost. Rangers' animal companions are so closely bonded to their masters that they share Stamina and Health pools, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Druids can Shapeshift into animal forms, gaining natural -- and some supernatural -- abilities associated with those creatures. Monks absorb a portion of incoming damage and convert it into a Wounds resource they can use to power their soul-based abilities (such as Stunning Blows) through any weapons they use, including unarmed strikes. Chanters begin the game with a number of phrases they can arrange to form songs with different effects. Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr is a phrase that causes allies' weapons to emit magical flames. Cipher powers often gain intensity as they maintain focus. Their basic Mind Jab starts as a minor irritant but can build to inflict devastating damage. Cooldowns Early on, some folks asked about cooldowns and both Tim and I agreed that we weren't opposed to using them in some form if it made sense for our mechanics. To be more explicit about it, the only way in which we are currently using anything cooldown-like is for per-encounter and per-rest abilities. Per-encounter abilities can be used a number of times in an encounter and are then disabled until combat ends. Per-rest abilities can be used a number of times after resting before you must rest to recover them. We've previously discussed grimoire-switching for wizards possibly invoking a cooldown. It's more likely that grimoire-switching will be limited through the inventory system and not by a cooldown. We also have modal abilities that can be turned on and off at will, with some abilities being exclusive to others, meaning you can only have one active at a time. Attack Resolution I've talked about this a bunch on the forums, but not in an update. All attacks in Project Eternity compare the attacker's Accuracy value to one of four defenses: Deflection (direct melee and ranged attacks), Fortitude (body system attacks like poison and disease), Reflexes (area of effect damage attacks), and Willpower (mental attacks). A number between 1 and 100 is generated to determine the attack rules. If the Accuracy and target defense are the same value, these are how the results break down: 01-05 = Miss 06-50 = Graze 51-95 = Hit 96-100 = Critical Hit A Hit is the standard damage and duration effects, a Graze is 50% minimum damage or duration, a Critical Hit is 150% maximum damage or duration, and a Miss has no effect. In a balanced Attack and defense scenario, the majority of attacks wind up being Hits or Grazes. If the Accuracy and defense values are out of balance, the windows for each result shift accordingly, while always allowing for the possibility of a Graze or a Hit at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Damage Type vs. Armor Type We've previously talked about how different weapon damage types (Slash, Crush, and Pierce) fare against Damage Threshold (DT) in the game. We implemented that system and found that while it worked well on paper and scaled well, it was unintuitive when put into the game. It was not possible for players to make informed decisions about what weapons to use against a given armor type because doing so required making relative damage vs. DT calculations for all weapon types, i.e. having a spreadsheet open for comparison at all times. In light of this, we are going to try a more explicit damage type vs. armor type model where armor, regardless of its DT, has a familiar weight classification: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Damage types are either good or bad against a given weight classification. When a damage type is "bad" against an armor type, it does half damage before DT is applied, making it very inefficient. Within the "good" types of damage, there's still an efficiency curve against DT for meticulous players to figure out, but it has less impact than avoiding "bad" damage types in the first place. Energy-based attacks (like most spells) oppose a different characteristic of the armor, its substance type (Natural, Armor, or Spirit) and like damage types, have good and bad opposition characteristics. Weapon bonus damage that is energy-based is applied to the target separately, but at a fractional DT value matching the bonus damage. E.g. if a sword has a fire effect that does +15% the sword's damage, it is opposed by 15% of the target's Damage Threshold. Tileset Trials and Tribulations Environment artist Sean Dunny has been experimenting with building tilesets for our dungeons. "Tilesets?!" you may be saying (or thinking). It may be a surprise, but many Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment levels started from a tileset or modular unit base. We use these tilesets to generate basic renders for testing layout, navigation, and combat. Once we like the basic layout, we refine it by adding additional "meta" (special) tiles, modifying the tiles individually in the layout, adding lights, and of course having an artist do a 2D touchup pass. That's all for this week. Thanks for reading! Update by Josh Sawyer
  2. Obsidian has said that they are going to separate out combat and non-combat skills, so that the same resources are not spent on both. This has lead to some cheering... ...as well as some concern. The concern seems to chiefly come from those people who, at first glance, you would assume would be happy about non-combat skills getting to not be overshadowed by combat skills. I know I was. But it became clear - one cause for worry was the possibility that there'd be no way to make a more non-combat oriented character (or a more combat oriented one, for that matter.) And this makes a kind of sense - that is a possibility, that the character creation becomes so cookie cutter as to be "choose you weapon style, choose your source of power, chose your non-combat skill" generic of a template where the choices are different but the characters are essentially identical sized and shaped lollipops of different colors and flavors. Many players want to have one character a lollipop, but maybe another a tootsie pop, and mayber a third a popsicle... eh, let's abandon that metaphor. The question remains - will players be able to make a more non-combat oriented character now that you can't spend the resources put aside for combat on non-combat? Now this is potentially (in my mind likely) a non-issue - Obsidian will design a great system and we'll all love it. Unless their intent is for combat and non-combat to always play equally. And maybe that's still the problem, especially in getting to design your own character. Balance, I'd argue, is important. Any race or class or combination of such should have the same maximum potential - you don't want one class choice to be gimped as compared to another. Some RP'ers who aren't trying to "win the game at all costs" won't care that their RP choice is not the most effective on a spreadsheet via statistics. But many players will be concerned, and this should be a worry - hence balance. Again, any race or class or combination of such should have the same maximum potential... and I'd argue the same minimum potential. But there's this whole range inbetween for players to customize their character, where you can make purposeful (for challenge or for RP) "less effective" choices. And inside of this thought process I found one (of I'm sure many) potential solution to the concerns of those worried about the dividing of resources into combat and non-combat skills. (yes, here's the point I'm getting to) When creating your character, regardless of race or class, one part of your shaping process could be chosing if your character is combat oriented, skill (what I'm going to call non-combat from this point forward) oriented, or balanced. Think of this like have a choice of one of three traits at creation, a la the Fallout series. If you choose the combat oriented trait, you get fewer skill points but more combat points (however Obsidian is going to divide up those abilities). Your character is now better at fighting but less good at the not-killing-things, not-absorbing-damage. And figure your thief or mage or cleric (or whatever classes) abilities are similarly divided into "fighting abilities" and "non-fighting abilities" for the sake of this discussion. If you choose the skill orientend trait, you get more skill points but fewer combat points (basically the reverse of combat oriented.) And, clearly, chosing the balance (or maybe default or no trait) will keep the distribution of those resources at the base, normal, average level as considered in the game world and mechanics. These traits could even simply be a few of the options in a Fallout style trait mechanic overall, in fact. Well... would this solve those concerns, and would you like this idea implemented (or at least something like it)?
  3. Edit: Jesus christ, reading comprehension, I want a fighting style for the monk based on acupressure attacks, a crystaline tank, and mabe a ****ing shadow entity AS SECRETS, hidden abilities and techniques that part of hidden quests, not mainline or readily availible level up options This is me just spitballing an idea, but what if over the course of the game there were hidden subquests to trigger which led the party to learn a secret fighting style, kinda sorta how DA:O led you to discover the Archane Warrior class except more subtle and hidden. a simple example where you go find a clue which leads to a quest where you decide the outcome of some mundane event that ties to karma or some such, and depending on your action this leads to another clue where at the end you find a hidden passage under some waterfall where you find a wisened old man who puts you through a final test, and if you pass you become the next successor to that style of fighting. again, very simple example trying to get my point across and I think there should be level requirements as these styles should be very powerful. Basically, the idea hit me as a way to shoehorn HnK fighting styles for the monk, because I think it would be cool, of course there would be penalties associated with the styles, but it would be a very specific disadvantage... the point is because there are so secret, they need to be powerful to justify the time you spend finding them and there can be different secret styles for different classes Feel free to add your own/make suggestions/comment on but these a the few i'd like to pitch Monk: "Hokuto" Style (will be called something else, but deals with pressure points) ---Advantages: All styles deal superior damage to other martial styles, high kockback potential, multiple strikes, damage taken by hits is multiplied by (it's the pressure point hits) 10 (or some other number to make it super damaging) after 2 rounds, innate damage reduction, and special moves and enemies with struck power points explode in spectacular fashion. no crit fails ---Disadvantages: Works only on humanoid targets, monsters still take damage but no pressure point damage is added, style is locked in as you are the successor to the style, no crits, also hardship will follow your party, prepare for feels. (where Hokuto goes, chaos follows) --- Learned from three masters --- Heal Type (Toki) focuses on fluid motion and calm but accurate strikes, deals high damage to single targets, moderate AOE, weaker strengh, can heal party members with accupressure but must be out of combat, cures everything. --- Damage Type (Kenshiro) focuses on fast strikes full of damage, strikes faster and with higher base damage, great AOE, weaker defense --- Strength Type (Raoh) focuses of brutal strikes which knock back targets further, chance to crush enemies, high single target and AOE, slower attack speed, greater defense ^^^may restrict styles to alignment type^^^ "Nanto" Style: slashy cutty style Advantages: free flowing and deadly, this style allows the fighter to move across the battlefield with lethal grace, higher movespeed in combat, lots of attacks, added slashing or peircing damage, depending on sub style. characters using this style are harder to hit. Disadvantages: slightly lesser single target damage, style locked in, the more damage taken by the character, the slower and easier to hit he gets. Certain actions cannont be taken (star of Justice cannot let innocents suffer)((maybe)) --- Justice style (Rei) Characterized by extreme mobility coupled with massive AOE damage, baring special moves, single target damage is good. can not do or abide by evil actions --- Martydom style (Shin) Characterized by lightning quick puncturing moves, super high single target damage, moderate AOE moves. unable to make varied choices (tunnel vision) (might replace with Shuu's technique) --- Command style (Thouzer) Characterized by zero defense, lightning offense with brutal cleaving strikes, high damage all around, lowered defenses, cannot make emotional choices. (vvv these ideas are a little less fleshed out vvv) Warrior: Crystaline symbiote: You allow a crystaline entity to mesh with your warrior, giving you the innate mystical power of crystal and the toughness of a gem (your warrior is now DIAMONDS) Advantages: medium strength spells related to crystals and gems buff your party and deal damage to enemies, you look fabulous with your new crystals and gems popping out of your skin. obtain a crystaline blade of enerring quickness and razor sharpness, abilities include the ability to fissure the earth and ever increasing armor when healed from wounds. immune to slashing, heavy magic and peirce resistance Disadvantages: super weak to shatter or crush, Health is frozen at current level, immune to heal magic, only specific self heal can restore health, lower dex and char (you are a disfigured hybrid of flesh and crystal) unable to equip armor (may add ability to choose crystaline weapon according to pref) Rouge: Shadow infused: Despite what other rouges might bluff, you have actually are infused with the essence of shadow and as such can manipulate shadow to your will. Advantages: Characharized by massivly damaging pericing and slashing strikes, you stike with absolute percision and damage increases depending on the amount of shadow available. While cloaked in the night, you are perpetually stealthed and unable to be hit with physical attacks unless... Disadvantages: Useless during daytime, unless standing in shadow (in the shadow of a building, or inside a cave) Torches, flame arrows, or flame spells will deactivate your shadow power, making you hitable I still have a few ideas laying around, just too tired to write them all now, tell me what you think?
  4. Since the Degenerate Gameplay thread is starting to... degenerate, I thought I'd raise one substantial point that came up in it. For those who missed the fun, background. It's been established that P:E will only have quest XP, rather than combat XP (à la Infinity Engine) or XP for doing things (à la KOTOR1/2). One substantive objection has been raised about this: "Assuming that combat consumes resources and stealth/non-combat doesn't, won't this create a systemic incentive for avoiding combat?" The answer to that objection is "Yes, it does," of course. And that would be bad, not to mention contrary to Josh Sawyer's explicitly stated design goal of crafting a system that does not systematically favor any approach over others. Which is why I think the problem should be addressed. For example, you could have minor loot drops that would roughly compensate for typical resources used to win that combat. Or you could impose resource costs on stealth and other non-combat activities. Here's a sketch for a stealth system with resource costs, as an example of how it could be done. 1 Moving while stealthed uses stamina. It regenerates when standing still. 2 Any character can enter stealth mode. 3 Any stealthed character has a chance of being spotted. 4 Heavy armor makes you easier to spot and increases the stamina cost. 5 Being a rogue or adding points to your sneak skill will make you harder to spot and will reduce the stamina cost of stealth. 6 Consumables exist to temporarily boost your sneak skill. These are used up when consumed. 7 Magic exists to temporarily boost your stealth. These take up your spell-caster's spell-casting capability. 8 Sneak buffs are incompatible with combat buffs. Use one, lose the other. Consequence: a party who decides to sneak through an enemy-infested area will have to do it pretty carefully. They'll trade off combat spells for stealth spells (7), have to acquire and use sneak buffs (6), forego combat buffs [8], and have to use light rather than heavy armor (4). Since they're avoiding combat, the cost of failure is very high -- if they're spotted (3), they'll very likely be in a tactically poor position, low on stamina (1), lightly armored (4), and un-buffed for combat [8]. If implemented this way, would stealth still sound like the systemically favored way to solve problems? If so, why? Would this kind of system be fun to play? Why or why not? Any other ideas? Discuss.
  5. During pause, being able to cast a spell or have an UI mechanic that let's you [scry] the battle outcome. Being able to move characters in a sort of "Directive" mode. 1. There's 3 guards ahead 2. Pause 3. In Ghost-Form, you move up your Rogue 4. Enemy Ghost-Forms notice you~Ghost-Form dissolves. Still in Pause, if Enemy Ghost Form doesn't notice you go to (6). 5a. If Ghost-Form could be used as an ability: Twice a day use or Once a day. 5b. If Ghost-Form could be used abundantly, start over at "3". 6. Continue with the Ghost-Form through the level until you get noticed. What this allows for is, the player can go about "Will I be detected if I go this path?" during quests and would be less time consuming than "Save+Reload" (Loading screen when you reload). Send forward your Rogue in Ghost-Form, and the enemies also has Ghost-Forms that reacts in this [Paused] Ghost-Mode without consequence (except time consuming). I think this could be a great tool for a stealth approach, being able to see what will happen if you go into a certain direction. Finally when you've found a successful path forward, un-pause, and now it comes to the test of actually doing it. Generally, I think it could help in a "Collective" Scout Mode for any class/race and help in a stealth approach a lot as well with some sort of harmless scout mode. The only thing I could think of was this "Ghost" thing.
  6. Any thoughts on allowing players to ford streams/rivers or underground areas that are knee/waist/chest deep in water? Apart from it being visually interesting and possibly scary at times, it could allow for a variety of aquatic encounters to take place. For example, if the party has no choice but to cross a waist deep stream on foot, they might become targets for electric eels, snakes, and "bitey" fish like piranhas. Or in subterranean lakes, aboleths, aquatic undead, frog-men, and all manner of amphibious creatures. Obviously, the engine would need to handle the visual complexity of water and water-combat, but it could open up additional adventuring possibilities previously unavailable in IE games. Do we need this in P:E ?
  7. What do you think? Should there be critical hits and misses in combat with adverse effects on gameplay. If yes what kind of effects do you imagine in critical hit and miss situations?
  8. Hello, I'd like to talk a bit about the flow of combat or more specifically combat speed. I believe this is intricately tied to the mechanics, so it's probably better discussed now than later. I think that extremes are unfeasible: If combat is too fast, I foresee two outcomes. Either it will become very twitchy (fast reactions and command giving; think competitive strategies) or it will require pausing the game very often. While this is basically the essence of real-time with pause I believe it can detract from game play as well as aesthetics if it's TOO often. As a practical example of a game in which combat was not cohesive with the rest of gameplay (perhaps due to my expectations) I would give DA2 in which I often got that "adrenaline-y" feeling while killing stuff, then just running forward to the next encounter, like I was doing in Torchlight. Or if you want to try and recreate the "too much pausing" feeling, play an IE game at higher FPS (AI updates/s). On the other hand if it's too slow, combat can seem stretched and frustrating (unintentionally so). I don't really have any game with this at the top of my head, but let's say IWD2 at the lower levels. You know, when you have little to no special attacks/spells and just have to whack some orcs over the head (or rather whack the air around them) for what seems to be an eternity. I personally didn't find it too engaging to just set it on attack and wait until something dies... What are the tools to balance this? The first would be time units. In IE games we have so-called personal rounds, which are to my understanding closed time intervals in which the character can act between movements. These define the maximum possible actions of a character over a certain period of time. Time is neatly stored in small packets, the length of which can then be manipulated to achieve the desired effect. There were conflicts when the rules would require more than physically possible to show, but I think with a new ruleset that can be avoided. Something more specific would be attack rolls (rules?). 10 attacks per round with a 5% chance to connect with each would be just annoying to me. Conversely making every attack connect is much simpler, but may have other drawbacks (lessened "realism", the loss of a layer of gameplay,...) Hand in hand with this I would put damage done and enemy HP. Perhaps it's a matter of personal taste, but it throws off my suspension of disbelief, when the PC is a high dmg/low hp thing and the enemies low dmg/high hp punching bags. I believe the same rules should apply to everything within a world, not have them separate for the player. However, yes, it's pretty obvious that these can be easily manipulated for different combat speeds. Not so direct - combat actions available to the player. There is probably no one on this board that would say that too many options is a bad thing (me included). Yet I also believe this is a non-trivial question. The more optimal players will use everything at their disposal. The more direct players will not. This can prove to be a divide in player experiences (resulting in complaining and "you're not playing it right" retorts) and while I don't think that the game has to be "accessible" (as it is often presented), I believe it should offer some uniformity (at least in the broad sense). Now games have always had a few ways of handling this, the foremost being (companion) AI. Besides difficulty, AI can also influence the flow of combat for the player, how often pausing is needed and how often some repetitive orders need to be issued. I consider AI to be a cover for the people that want to be less involved, or just be there to lessen the load of the more involved ones, providing a closer experience. Even better programmable AI - I thoroughly enjoyed the "Tactics" in the DA line. However there is in my opinion a big issue with companions doing stuff automatically in a game such as PE (or IE engine) and that is the usage of finite resources (assuming you can't rest every 10 feet). In these games the player cannot just look at each encounter individually, but must take in consideration a whole series of them and perhaps even have some extra resources "just in case". This simply cannot be done effectively artificially. I believe the number of classes we have can be exploited to some extent here, transferring some micromanagement around or at least limiting it. Some classes can be perhaps intentionally more involved for advanced players, however I suspect that wouldn't be met with much enthusiasm (dividing players). Action duration. A balanced and diverse approach would work well here I guess, with some things taking longer than others to accomplish. I can't really say what would be ideal as this would require specific times and information. I see this as a big and important part though, affecting a lot of strategic aspects. The only thing I would add is that I would like to see consistency throughout the adventure - not 5 times faster swinging at high levels. That's about it from me, post your thoughts .
  9. One of the topics that was touched upon in the weapon mechanics thread was the amount of weapon types. I thought it'd make for an interesting poll question. How many weapon types would you like to see in the game? And just how different should they be? 1. Small weapon selection, but each type offers a unique playstyle and has a different animation. E.g. Rapiers utilize quick thrusts, and emphasise mobility in combat. Against heavily armoured opponents, however, a greatsword would be a better choice. 2. A good amount of weapons, divided into subsets (weapons in a subset behave identically). E.g. All polearms would be handled the same (similar reach, damage, animation etc.). 3. Large variety of weapons, but with little difference between them. Self-explantory. Each solution has its merits, what's your preference?
  10. I don't remember what game it is... Star Wars: The Old Republic or Final Fantasy XI... might've been a different game too. Anyways, great log customization, I could have all of the combat log in one tab and all of the dialogue in another tab. Sometimes I dislike being interrupted in the midst of my adventuring with the banter pauses in Baldur's Gate. Is it possible to have a separate Log which handles Dialogue? Either by its separate window or a tab. I would like that a lot. Lots of Feedback! :D But to the point, being able to initiate dialogues whilst you are walking without an entire dialogue interface. Your companion says something and you can choose to engage in the conversation or not. There could be a timer in the Dialogue Log, so you only have a certain amount of time to answer these banters. Leaving the area you are in with a banter started would also negate it. Could this effect friendship sometimes? If you ignore your companions too much they will take less like to you. The only issue I can think of: - Your companion starting a discussion in the midst of combat, avoid this. An example: "Gorion would be proud of your actions! :D" - Khalid Showing up as text, with choices underneath it ("Yes Khalid, he would" or "Maybe" or even "Can you please stop?"). Not answering wouldn't make Khalid less friendly though, but there could be other "outbursts", "icebreakers" and similar between the companions and you, or companions vs companion banter that you can interact with and butt into which would effect "friendship". I think that Jaheira blurts out something like "Don't come close to me" when Xzar (mechanically, in-game) is too close to her (a generic voiced "Jaheira doesn't like the evil alignment", again, this doesn't even have to be voiced). http://forums.obsidi...e/page__st__220 Indeed the whole "I win" has to do with what the devs choose to use as responses not due to the use of tags to let gamers know what dialoge options have skills or other things involved in their use and I suspect we will find a large number of tag-able options in PE - or at least I hope so. Could, examples, "Bluff" and "Intimidate" ("Speech Skill" could suffice) be Active Abiltiies used in the game interface (and not in a Dialogue interface)? E.g., Right-Click on target, choose Bluff/Speech Skill when you can respond (could give you 1 to 2 more options/choices in the dialogue log, depending on what your prime speech skill is: Humble? Intimidating? Persuasive? Bluffer?) Thoughts?
  11. In most cRPGs weapons are usually fairly similar to each other; most of the time the only difference is the amount of damage dealt. I think every weapon type (well, within reason of course) should offer a unique set of boni and (ideally) ought introduce a different playstyle. Here are a few ideas and suggestions (some may be obvious, most are pretty abstract, so be warned) : 1) Weapon reach : e.g. Pikes or Spears should allow your team members to attack from a greater distance, confering a serious advantage in some cases, but becoming a liability in close quarters. 2) Critical hit effects are different for each weapon type. E.g. : a) Greatswords would deal 200% more damage on critical hits and have a 5% chance to dismember the foe, resulting in an instant death. b) Rapiers would deal 100% more damage on critical hits and apply a bleeding effect. c) Hammers would deal 150% more more damage on critical hits and stun the target. 3) Smaller and generally obvious things : a) Different damage ranges (e.g. Greatsword 1d10x2, Longsword 1d6x3 - this would result in a vastly different performance. b) Armour Boni and penalties - (e.g. Swords are worse at piercing chainmail, but great against leather, Rapiers are useless against plate). c) Various speeds - self-explanatory. d) Weapon perks - (e.g. Greatswords are harder to parry, Pikes can impale, Pistols can jam). e) No weapon type should ever be considered "the best". They should all have their uses.
  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpBqLbyR7o8&feature=player_embedded This week we announced our Mega Dungeon, our base classes, the cipher and barbarian classes as stretch goals, and the Adventurer's Hall as another stretch goal. We are coming up on our final week of the Kickstarter, and we have exciting stuff planned for you in the coming week including new rewards, a special inside peek into Obsidian, and a first look at Project Eternity. Exclusive Backer Pet, Hardcover Books for $250 and Name in the Game for $500! At the $50 tier and up we have an exclusive in-game pet for you! The pet is optional and will not have any in-game function besides being a quiet companion that will never leave your side. We are looking for ideas on what the pet could be, so let us know what you would like to see in our forums. We have great news for $250 and up backers! We are upgrading the Collector's Book at the $250 level to a hardcover at no extra charge. The Collector's Book is a full-color book that includes concept art, our monster manual, information about the campaign setting, and a special behind the scenes look at the making of Project Eternity. Additionally for our $500 backers and above, we will let you put your name and a personalized message on a memorial stone in game. Your unique message will be encoded into Glanfathan runes, and can be decoded using a unique in-game ring. It's a way for all of us to remember your large contribution to Project Eternity. Tim Answers Your Combat Questions from Reddit Kaboom asks: Hi Tim! I'm curious how the close combat in P:E will turn out. Will the melee of P:E encompass stuff like reach weapons, opportunity attacks, flanking, grappling, charging, prone/standing-modes and so forth? Tim: Yes, we are looking to include many of these features into our close combat system. Specifically, opportunity attacks and flanking are definitely in, as well as charging. We're not sure about reach weapons yet (we need to figure out if that attribute on a weapon will be worthwhile enough in combat and will supportable with the appropriate UI), and while we will support prone positions, you won't be able to attack while prone because the animations involved are too different from attacks while standing that we would have to make every animation twice, once for standing and once for prone. This limitation also means that grappling abilities will not be included. There are too many new animations needed and special case limitations that apply, e.g. how does a human grapple a centaur or a dragon or an ooze?). Tim answers more of your questions in the video and the text version is on our forums. Also check out the Project Eternity reddit group. Mod Support From Neverwinter Nights 2 to Fallout: New Vegas, we've enjoyed supporting the mod community, and we are continuing that with Project Eternity. It is awesome to see how you extend the worlds we make. To make getting mods easy, we are excited to announce that our friends at the Nexus will be the official spot to download Project Eternity mods once the game is released. They have been a great host for mods for our past games, and we want to continue the trend with the Project Eternity Nexus. Check out the Nexus Network at www.nexusmods.com. Our plan is to release our file-format information and expose as much of the data in the game as possible for you to extend and edit. We traditionally do not "hard-code" numbers so that our designers, and you, have the power to easily change and iterate on RPG data. We also plan on releasing localization tools to let communities around the world create localized versions for languages we are not translating Project Eternity into. As we get more familiar with Unity during production, we will be extending Project Eternity even more for mod makers. Look forward to announcements in the months ahead as we make further progress and can provide you with more information about tools and mod support. The Endless Paths Grows! We've passed 52,500 backers! The Endless Paths of Od Nua Mega Dungeon continues to grow larger! The next level will be added at 55,000 backers. Thank you for helping us to spread the word about Project Eternity! Kickstarter Comments and Kerfluffles! Lastly, if you haven’t been attending all of the fun in the Comments section of our Kickstarter, you’re really missing out on some fun conversations. From the Obsidian Order of Eternity representing in full force, to one of our favorites, the Kerfluffle Marshmallow lady, Spring Barnickle, who asks: Hmmm... how many marshmallows indeed. Beware paladin-types... beware! Until next time... Update by Tim Cain and Adam Brennecke (You can also discuss the entire Reddit Q&A part 2 in this thread.)
  13. When it comes to RPGs, I see a lot of focus on things like stats, leveling up, and game mechanics surrounding combat, but in my opinion, one of the greatest aspects of traditional PnP RPGs is... Well, actual roleplaying, and the ability to come up with some rather unorthodox methods of solving a particular issue. Now, obviously we can't have the same freedom in a CRPG, since computer games by their very nature can't adapt to unpredictable situations, or allow the use of skills in situations they weren't designed for, even if it should be physically possible. For example, without a physics engine capable of fully destructible environments, you can't "accidentally" blow up a house with a stray fireball, causing debris to knock out a tower, killing the ogre you were fleeing from. Similarly you can't have NPCs comment on this rather strange turn of events, since it wasn't in the script. What we can have, however, are quests and scenarios designed around situations where these unorthodox methods of winning are possible. I think one of the developers touched upon this subject in one of the earlier updates, but reading through the "Unwinnable encounters" thread, I wanted to expand on the idea. Scenario time: Imagine a side quest involving two powerful creatures (e.g. dragons). You learn about these creatures from an inn keeper, who for whatever reason refers to them as Bob and Drake. Now, Bob and Drake doesn't like each other very much. Maybe Bob moved into Drake's territory. Maybe Drake completely trashed Bob's lair during a new year's party. Maybe he stole Bob's toilet paper, and decided to decorate the trees... Or maybe the inn keeper is just bitter about some past event, and is confusing the stories. Who knows. At any rate, you start hearing rumours about these two, their antics, and a legendary artifact which one of them currently has in their possession. You also hear about the numerous attempts at liberating this artifact from them; no one has succeeded. Indeed, it becomes abundantly clear that the only creature which could conceivably defeat them is another dragon. So, what do you do? Start a fight? Sure, with a massive amount of luck and skill, and more grinding than you care to admit, you could potentially defeat them... Or, you could use your non-combat skills to deal with the situation; turns out that they are just as willing to talk as they are to fight. You learn that while they tolerate each other, there is quite a bit of tension between them, which opens up for some interesting possibilities. Should you plant seeds of distrust until they end up in a fight to the death? Maybe you can persuade one of them to take on the other with your help? Whatever your choice, this quest can end in a number of ways: If you attack and somehow succeed, or if you manage to pit them against each other such that they both die, you get to loot both of their hoards. If you successfully befriend one of them and kill the other, you are forced to share the loot with the dragon you sided with, but you also gain access to his lair, and unlock additional conversations with your new scaled friend. Regardless of what you choose, you end up with the artifact you were looking for. The idea with this scenario is that it offers different rewards for different type of play styles. If you like challenges and more tangible rewards, you get a tough battle and more loot. If you care more for the story and roleplaying aspect of the game, you get more interaction with an NPC, and a sense of accomplishment beyond a checkbox in your journal. While the above is just an example, and not very fleshed out, I would like to hear people's opinion on the matter. Given a choice, how would you feel about scenarios where you can win battles way above your level by means of deception, diplomacy or other non-combat skills?
  14. We've got a crowdfunded project with many many rpg veterans chipping in. I'm ready for some innovation and experiments. Here are some features of my imaginary, perfect 'Project Eternity', add your own below! Resting Spells/abilities regenerate instead of becoming unavailable after use until the party rests. The party acts at 100% efficiency when well rested, but gradually becomes more vulnerable and loses effectiveness in all skills when tired. Spells not only cost mana, but tire casters independently. The same holds true for physical skills without consuming mana. The party can rest anywhere to regain up to e.g. 50% efficiency, but can only recuperate to 100% in designated resting areas. Familiar: As a tactical asset, it can spy, explore, steal, poison, play tricks etc. either on enemies/neutrals or companions. It's got character (I always thought Morte was a good familiar, if overpowered as a fighter.) It's not an ugly beetle. Dialogue Regular people share parts of a huge knowledge pool. Besides the traditional dialogue window, a kind of "google autocomplete searchbox" displays possible questions relating to the key words typed in. E.g. "Mr. X" would permit the questions: "What do you know about Mr. X?", "Where does Mr. X live?", etc. Choices Some painful, some impossible, and some to be proud of Example: "You paid dearly for doing the right thing. As a child slave, you decide to help a friend avoid punishment. You get caught and your hand is chopped off in retribution. Later on, you can't use bows and 2h-weapons. Furthermore, the wound is a stigma of a caught and convicted petty thief." In the later game, those friends' actions have special significance to the player, and create immersion. If later on a magic liquid metal hand that restores lost abilities, can shapeshift and execute killmoves happens to be found, it'll be enjoyed all the more. On the other hand, any injury can be avoided by not helping the friend in the first place. Not paying attention makes it easy to inadvertently go down the wrong path. You want to be a good guy? Be prepared to swallow rage and forsake the satisfaction of vengeance. Vigilante killings are recognized as such by society. It's not easy to be just, and almost impossible to entirely avoid being manipulated. Prudent choices such as "bringing someone in" instead of killing them outright are available. It's impossible to succeed every time, and players are confronted with moments of intense frustration. No guiding hand An immersion breaker in modern games is the relentless pace. Not in Project Eternity. Here it is important to pay attention to the dialogue. Little is gained by following quest markers or checking objectives. Facts are recorded, but the player jots down his/her own conclusions in the journal next to them, and chooses his/her plan of action. The minimap is not a substitute for looking at where you are going, players need to familiarize themselves with the game world. Help is readily available by talking to people, but the right questions need to be asked. Superior solutions to quests apparent only with understanding and immersion are available next to regular endings. Mystery The player is placed in a wondrous place, and is not all that powerful nor important. He/She isn't able to battle everything, and might need to run from a conflict without ever having a chance of besting an opponent. In PST the lady of pain set a great mood. Beating everything into submission does not solve anything, nor does it even seem a worthy endeavor. Themes Philosophy is fun and fascinating. Kierkegaard and Hobbes inspire fascinating dark characters whose dispositions and actions give a special flair to this RPG. There is no arch enemy, per se, the player develops a philosophy he/she needs to see through. Combat The trade-off for tactical mastery in turn based combat is the static feel. Especially during unchallenging encounters, parties approach each other, find the right distance, stop, and lose health until one dies. Not in Project Eternity. To start with, enemies have hit boxes which can be individually targeted. Moreover, terrain, obstacles, distance, position and stance are integrated as tactical elements. Attacks and spells can knock targets around. More action oriented players such as myself appreciate timed active actions (block, parry, riposte/counter, chain...), although these are optional in the game menu. Both classic rpg lovers and action oriented gamers appreciate differentiated combat stages, where party characters dynamically adjust their standard attack according to distance. Long range, mid range, and melee. A melee character needs to consider how to approach through a debuff focused mid range without penalty (by fog, evasion, cover, long range stun/knockdown...), thus making the "approach and hack" tactic less feasible. Different armors equal different strengths and weaknesses. Weapon changes during combat are quick and necessary. Semi-scripted melee and spell combos bring joy to all (thief hamstrings an opponent from behind, fighter bashes his head in) Romance During the last years games have opened up a lot in this respect. We saw more LBGT friendly interaction, and a lot more skin. Since all bases are covered in Project Eternity, a large cast of characters is needed. Most characters are regular boring heterosexuals, not that much interested in sex in any case, because immersion doesn't permit otherwise. A true romance (and with good reason not everyone wants to go there) seeps out of the confines of dialogue. Combat changes, as do expectations from partner and party. Interaction is more frequent and natural. A darker side of romance is the power to influence/manipulate/control one's partner, and some evil bastards take advantage of that. Leveling A Fallout approach is chosen in lieu of fixed classes. It's possible to pick up formerly unknown skills during the story which are not included in a skill tree/pool, and different types of equipment have unique actions. Toolset Whatever wishes stay unfulfilled, a toolset brings them to life. Modders not only add or change content, they change gameplay, fix bugs and update graphics. A toolset for a game is the gift that keeps on giving. (Check out the oblivion/skyrim/fallout3/falloutnv nexus if you haven't already, it is insane what these people deliver)
  15. If it's implemented via scripting, then it would make it possible for modders to implement a TB system (thinks of ToEE). *blissful happiness* Stuff like this could make world peace happen ya' know.
  16. For our weekend update this week (update 16!), we have another Q&A from our reddit readers in the Project Eternity Q&A Subgroup, with all of the questions having to do with the combat system of Project Eternity. Tim answers the top five questions below (as voted up by the community) as well as picking an additional question at random from all of those asked. Also check out the main Project Eternity group if you stop over to reddit. And now, on to the questions! Kaaaboom asks... Hi Tim! I'm curious how the close combat in P:E will turn out. Will the melee of P:E encompass stuff like reach weapons, opportunity attacks, flanking, grappling, charging, prone/standing-modes and so forth? Yes, we are looking to include many of these features into our close combat system. Specifically, opportunity attacks and flanking are definitely in, as well as charging. We're not sure about reach weapons yet (we need to figure out if that attribute on a weapon will be worthwhile enough in combat and will supportable with the appropriate UI), and while we will support prone positions, you won't be able to attack while prone because the animations involved are too different from attacks while standing that we would have to make every animation twice, once for standing and once for prone. This limitation also means that grappling abilities will not be included. There are too many new animations needed and special case limitations that apply, e.g. how does a human grapple a centaur or a dragon or an ooze?). DTKT asks... Are you guys designing some of the abilities/spells to be used in synergy with other spells? AKA, a grease spell and a fireball? Yes! We love abilities (including spells) that leave side effects on the target that subsequent abilities can take advantage of. So we may give you an attack that has a chance to stun a target, and another attack that does extra damage on stunned targets. Or you have a spell that catches targets on fire, and another that causes explosions on burning targets. These abilities work fine on their own, but when you learn the combinations, you will be much more effective. Karel_evzen asks... On KickStarter you mention positioning will be an important aspect of combat. How important will this (and tactics in general) be? Will we see similar combat mechanics as in NWN2 (backstabbing, friendly fire) or something completely different? We plan to make positioning very important, since we will support flanking attacks and backstabbing. We want you to be thinking about where your characters are standing and facing, not only relative to the monsters but also to each other, because we will have friendly fire in the game. Some abilities will affect their target and other targets around the main one, so you will need to use these abilities carefully. You can always avoid using these abilities at all, as they are never required, or you can choose to use them around your other characters that have a good chance to evade such damage. And if you don't like it, friendly fire will be an option you can turn off in most modes, but not in expert mode. In expert mode, you will always have to be careful when using area of effect abilities or abilities that cause splash damage, because you won't be able to turn off friendly fire. DoubtfulGuest asks... A question about combat magic: I really enjoyed the complexity of the system in the Baldurs Gate series where a wizard's repertoire included contingency spells, spell triggers, spell shields of different magnitudes, "prep spells" like Malison, and so forth. It added an interesting amount of strategy to a wizard duel. Will the system in Project Eternity have similar elements? Yes, we will have spells that are useful to counter other spells, and we will certainly have buffs and shields that you can cast on yourself and other party members. However, we are not going to make encounters that require the use of a particular spell or that involve a creature with extreme immunities (such as a creature only harmed by silver weapons). We don't want to make encounters that only have one solution, and if you cannot use that solution, you are out of luck. Instead, our encounters will have creatures with various strengths and weaknesses, and you can pick several different ways to take them down, and some of those ways will be more efficacious than others. Few choices will be outright unusable, though. Wormix asks... In certain CRPGs you will regenerate all your health and mana after every fight, ensuring that you have your full power for every fight. In the IE games you didn't regenerate spells or health after each battle, making spell management a strategic concern.While this allows individual fights to be balanced for difficulty easier and is less punishing in general, it removes an aspect of strategy from the game that a lot of players enjoy. What is Project Eternity's aim in terms of strategic resource management? In the old IE games, wizards and priests had resources that got drained and did not regenerate before the next battle, unlike fighters and rogues that few or no such resources. We are looking for a middle ground solution, either one where the wizards aren't the only ones to make a hard choice of whether to "use up" a resource, or one where no class has to make such a choice. For example, we are looking into the idea that wizards are only limited in the number of times they can cast their higher-level combat spells in a fight, and other spell are castable as many times as you want. As the wizard levels up, spells that previously had a limit can now be cast an unlimited number of times, and the newly acquired spells are the ones with a limit. And we could make similar abilities for fighters, priests and rogues too. In general, we always want to the player to have a choice of what to do with a particular character, and we want those choices to change as the character becomes more powerful. Now for a bonus question! Diablo169 asks... Could you please provide a bit more detail on how skill/spell cooldowns are going to factor into the games combat system? Sure, let me give some specifics on how we are planning to incorporate cooldowns into the wizard class. First off, cooldowns are NOT on individual spells. For any particular spell, you cast it, and when you are done, you can cast it again right away. But one limitation is on spells of a particular level. When you cast a certain number of those spells, in any combination, then the whole spell level group goes into a cooldown, and you can't use any of them until that cooldown has passed. That cooldown is long enough that for short battles, you are limited to casting a certain number of spells for each spell level. For long battles, that cooldown might expire and you can start casting those spells again. The other cooldown has to do with your grimoire. A wizard may know a lot of spells, but he can only cast a few basic spells plus the ones that are in the grimoire that he is holding. Grimoires vary in size, holding various numbers of spells of different spell levels, and the player is free to load up his different grimoires with spell combinations of his choice. But once combat begins, switching grimoires causes a cooldown for all of those spells, leaving the caster only able to cast his basic spells until the grimoire cooldown passes. This means the player will have to think carefully about which spells he adds to a grimoire and under what situations he would want to switch one for another. And that's everything for this week, folks. Thank you very much for your support of Obsidian and Project Eternity. Tim.
  17. How do you like to structure fighter / warrior classes. The traditional (1st / 2nd Ed) D&D route is to (a) choose specific weapons (b) put proficiencies into them (c ) maybe choose a subclass or kit and (d) use the right magic items. It was pretty straightforward and not as interesting as the spell-casting / stealth classes. 3E made things a bit more interesting with kits, allowing you to build a tank, 'light fighter', dual-wielder, berserker or whatever using a menu of symbiotic skills, feats and classes. Then prestige classes came in and killed it. Then I started thinking about other games and the cultural underpinnings of warrior classes. If you think about it, the culture a warrior comes from will have an enormous influence on his or her class. * Types of weapons used (tech level / culture / taboo / tactics) * Codes / ethics (is there an elite warrior caste with rigid codes of chivalric honour or are fighters just mercenary scum?) * Armies (does the fighter come from a culture with a standing army or one with levies or auxiliaries or just a tribal horde) * Culture (tribal / developed) * Class (noble warrior trained in certain weapon types and tactics, or tribal skirmisher with survival skills and tracking?) Over to you. But I would like a warrior class that allows me to imagine a range of character archetypes, from rapier-armed remittance man through to axe-wielding berserker savage through to professional musketeer / mercenary through to wily and cunning tribal scout / skirmisher. And *without* the need for kits / subclasses. Is this possible?
  18. I was thinking about magic use in RPGs and would really love it if this game did not use the massively over used mana system. I think it'd also be pretty cool if magic wasn't mostly reactive and combat based. Some random ideas and things I'd like to see... Spells you had to plan ahead to use Maybe you need reagents the use of symbols/runes/glyphs on your gear/weapons or the ground an altar of some kind sacfice something to gain something all of the above If I'm playing a mage I'd like also to see and use magic in every aspect of the game, to see/feel/hear things others don't, to bypass problems that other classes may have greater issues with. I don't want it just to be the magic unlock and the magic persuasion. I'm no game designer and so I'll leave it up to you lovely devs to sort it all out, but I just thought I should throw that out there. Anyone else have any thoughts on the matter?
  19. I would love to play an archer, but I have yet to find a cRPG that makes long-range combat sufficiently "meaty". What do I mean? Impact of missiles should mean more than HP damage. I'm thinking as a minimum bracing animations, the regaining of balance by taking a step back. After a couple of hits, the target should look like a pincushion. I dislike vanishing arrows! I also dislike moderate damage dealing, rapid firing archers. That's boring. Arrows should be lethal to unarmored targets, but next to useless against plate armor and shields (that's what crossbows are for). At the same time, archers are dead meat in melee combat. To sum up, having an archer in the party should not feel like a permanent AoE DoT spell.
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